Yesterday, I posted my survivor's meme, OK - I Give! Here's My Survivor's Meme and it occurred to me that these change from time to time depending on how I'm feeling and what kind of stress I am under. Keeping track of those changes and how my needs change is an important part of keeping myself on track.
I've known for years that part of keeping my self esteem up is related to how well I am doing at recognizing what my needs and wants might be, as well as what I do with that information. It isn't enough to just acknowledge them. It is important to be doing what I can to see that my needs are being met.
If I am not taking care of my needs, then I am not taking good care of myself. If I'm not taking good care of myself, my self esteem will suffer. From there it is a downward spiral. How far I go is directly dependant on how long it takes me to get back on track paying attention to my needs.
What that means to me is that I need to make a regular point of taking my emotional temperature. I need to review my needs and see if they have changed. I need to do what I can to see to it that I am on track at getting those needs met.
I know if I feel depressed (not that deep black hole stuff - just normal I"m a little low stuff) I need to look at those needs and maybe even make some adjustments to accommodate whatever has caused a funk in the first place. Sometimes it's an outside source and sometimes it's me, but either way going back over those needs and filling them always brings back up.
On the list of needs I posted in the meme, there were numerous references to horses. Obviously, that wouldn't be a need for a lot of folks and some might not even understand "why" that is such a big focus for me when the meme asked specifically to keep the needs geared towards being a survivor. But for me, horses are a big part of being able to keep myself on track and going in a positive direction.
Over the last two months, I have been pretty sick. Not with anything life threatening but sick enough to keep an "old bird" like me down. During this time, I have had little if any contact with my horses. Believe me I hit a pretty darn big funk over this!
I knew I couldn't go out to be with the horses because it made me feel worse physically but not doing so really threatens my centeredness. I compromised as much as I could by working on things in the house that are good for my horse business. Not one on one contact with the amazing creatures who feed my soul, but definitely a help towards this dream of mine. It was better than nothing.
I had to keep reminding myself, that I would be better off working at the computer than pushing myself to go to the barn. The few times I did push, I actually relapsed rather quickly so I didn't have to worry about big arguments from littles inside. Reminding them that pushing it was only going to make it an even longer time before I get to go back to work with the horses stopped inner arguments.
My point is not about me and the horses but about what I needed to do because of how this affects my system. I had to really rethink what my usual needs are. I had to find some things to do to help me deal with the fact that I couldn't spend time with my horses.
One of the things I did was went through all of my horse pictures and put them into chronological order. That was a huge task but getting a chance to see baby pictures of some of these grown horses did bring a smile to my face. Those pictures helped stir up some memories that are really good ones for us. That was helpful too.
Other things on my list had to be modified as well. I needed more sleep time. Had to allow time for a nap or two or three, depending on the day. I changed my diet some to accommodate how I was feeling. And I spent more time on the phone talking horses to friends. I adjusted to meet my current needs.
Next week those needs may have changed again. Who knows where they'll be in a year. The one thing I know for sure is that if I find myself having a hard time because of flashbacks, a financial setback, or lousy weather etc, the first thing I will do is figure out what my needs are so I can begin finding ways to fill them.
multiple personality disorder MPD dissociative Identity disorder did depression